NZ Anglicans delay decision to bless gay marriage

Reverend Helen Jacobi (Newshub.)
Reverend Helen Jacobi (Newshub.)

An Anglican vicar says the decision of the Church not to bless gay marriages is hugely disappointing.

Reverend Helen Jacobi, from Auckland's St Matthew's-in-the-city, was an observer at the General Synod in Napier, where the discussion was deferred for two years.

"We're extremely disappointed and don't believe that waiting for another two years is going to get us any further forward in the discussion. 

"The time had come really to make a decision and take a vote," she said.

"We were hoping to be able to welcome gay and lesbian people into church for their marriages, but the church had already decided that marriage wasn't an option, so the idea was that they would have a civil marriage and that we would then bless that marriage."

But she acknowledges there are some in the church who don't believe that's the right path to take.

"They still hold a view that a homosexual relationship is not something God would want to bless, so they're resisting and resisting strongly."

The Synod, or church council, instead voted to set up another working party to report back on the matter at the next Synod in 2018.

Wellington parishioner, Paul Day, posted on Facebook that he's leaving the church for a second time over "the ongoing hatred they show for people like me". 

"How dare you demand I wait another two-plus years, sitting silently in the pews of the oppressed," he wrote.

A spokesman for the Anglican Church told Newshub it has "committed itself to make progress at the next Synod".

Anglicans in Canada have approved the blessing of gay marriages, while Anglicans in both the US and Scotland have approved marrying gay couples in church.